posted a useful article by Ben Quarmby about the dangers of
employee use of social media to a company's patents, trade
secrets, and copyrights. The big danger for trade secrets is
disclosure. Trade secrets must remain secret if they are to be
protected by the law, and "[o]nce the secret has been
disclosed on a social media public platform, it is difficult to
place it back under wraps." In fact, after an employee posts a
trade secret online and the company finds out, "the
information may have been displayed for days, and worse, may have
been reposted by any number of users." By the time a company
has tracked down and removed the posts, "the information may
well have been in the public domain so long - and been exposed to
many people - that it no longer qualifies as a trade
To combat this problem, Quarmby suggests highlighting the
dangers of social media to company trade secrets through employee
manuals and training courses, monitoring employee activity on
social media to the extent possible, and developing an efficient
plan-of-attack to have posts containing trade secrets removed
promptly. I think this is all good advice, but monitoring employee
activities in the social media realm can be tricky. New privacy
legislation like the new
law in Maryland that bans employers from asking for employee
social media passwords can make monitoring difficult. Nevertheless,
companies should watch the web for disclosures of their trade
secrets to the extent they are able in order to protect their
To view Foley Hoag's Massachusetts Noncompete Law
Blog please click
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As is well known, patent trolls often threaten dozens of alleged infringers in the hope of scoring quick license fees from those who understandably prefer to provide a modest payoff, thereby avoiding expensive and protracted litigation.
In order to best protect the IP rights of a U.S. company seeking to produce goods through a Chinese manufacturer by providing a protected design, the U.S. company needs to take actions even before the contracting stages.
On November 12, 2012, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of issued the Draft Rules on Inventor-Employee Inventions for public comment, and this article seeks to reconcile the different provisions between the Implementing Rules and the Draft Rules.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of seven film studios finding that the defendant induced third parties to download infringing copies of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works.